February 2006

All of your business needs. One easy solution.

02/08/2006       Vol 3 Issue 2

http://www.offassist.com


Love Is In The Air!

Do you love what you do?

I won't lie, I absolutely adore what I do for a living. Nothing makes me happier than knowing that I have made a difference in the personal and business lives of my clients. It is truly what I think I was meant to be doing.

That's it, no insightful comments this month... but I will torture you with a picture... Happy birthday to my little girl, Cassie, who is turning 3 this month:


Photo © Meminisse Studios, Corpus Christi, TX.  
Used with permission

In this issue:

  • "Tech Talk With Tom" talks about how to 
  • Learn about adding users in the Quickbooks tips section
  • Our spotlight this month is on Tom Beauchamp, the newest full-time member of the OffAssist team.
  • My usual collection of quirky office and accounting humor.
  • ... and those ever important upcoming tax deadlines

I hope you enjoy this month's issue! I am always looking for articles. If you have an article you would like to write, please feel free to email me at candy@offassist.com

Our Monthly Cycle
by Alana Morales

After being in business for about eight months now, my husband and I are beginning to realize one thing - businesses have cycles. Each business has its own cycle, but my husband’s follows this pattern:

First, he panics that doesn’t have enough business.

Then, he does an advertising blitz.

Then he gets a tidal wave of business from the advertising.

Next, he panics about being able to complete all of his scheduled work.

Finally, things slow down a bit and he can take a breath.

Then of course, things slow down a little more, and we begin the entire cycle over again. My husband and I both know that he needs to advertise on a consistent basis. Unfortunately, some months it just isn’t possible.

We have gone through this particular cycle for at least the past four months. Even though we recognize the pattern, we still panic. I try not to. I know that this pattern exists. I know that the business follows this pattern. Despite all of this, I still get worried. I begin to worry and anticipate the day that my husband comes home and tells me “This is it. I can’t make it happen anymore.”

When I shared this with my husband, he laughed at me. “It will never get to that point. I won’t let it.” I believe him, but the worry still resurfaces monthly.

When you work for yourself, I don’t think you can ever feel truly comfortable. Knowing that you are completely responsible for everything financially is a very daunting proposition. When you pair this with the fact that your spouse quit her job right before you “took the leap” into entrepreneurship, you have the makings for some prime time ulcers.

My business cycle is slightly different than my husband’s.

First, I wait for orders.

Then, I wait some more.

Then I wonder why I even say I have a business.

Next, two things happen:

One, I will get at least one order.

Two, I will get a letter back from a child who received a letter, and it makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

Then I wonder why I even considered not being in business and vow to figure out how to devote more time to the business.

Even though my business isn’t the primary money source (or any other type of money source), I still put quite a bit of pressure on myself. I would like to devote more time to it, but with my youngest quickly approaching one and the oldest almost four, there isn’t enough time in the day. I make to do lists, I (attempt to) prioritize, I work while they nap. I can’t seem to get everything that I want to get done, done.

Because our business follows a monthly cycle, I wish I could find some solution to help me get through the low “periods” (no pun intended). Instead of taking something for PMS, maybe someone could make something that gives you some sort of vision for seeing the future. Then, during the lull, you could know with full certainty that it would be over soon. Without it, you assume things will be alright, but you never really know for sure.

Since this product doesn’t exist, I will have to continue putting up with the ebb and flow of our business. Unfortunately for my husband, he now has to put up with two monthly cycles instead of one.

Alana Morales, who has a degree in Psychology and is a certified teacher, taught high school English for six years before staying home with her two children and becoming a freelance writer. Her fist book, Domestically Challenged, is due out in 2006. You can read more of Alana’s work and get information about her book at http://www.AlanaMorales.com.

 
Quickie QuickBooks Q & A 

ZF from WV asks: How do I add users in QuickBooks?

Only someone with QuickBooks Administrator rights can add users.
  • In the "Company" menu click on "Set Up Users" and select "Add User"
  • Enter the new user's name in the "User Name" field.  If you want to create a password for the new user (it's optional), enter it in both the "Password" and "Confirm Password" fields, then click "Next".
  • Select whether the user will have access to all areas of QuickBooks or just specific areas you select and click "Next".
  • If you have given the user access to all areas click "Yes" to confirm their access then click "Finish" to finish the setup.
  • If you are only giving the new user access to specific areas a series of windows will appear asking to select which areas they will be able to access.  Click "Next" to move on to the next screeen.
  • If the new user is going to have access to be able to delete or edit transaction answer "Yes" to the first question in the "Changing or Deleting Transactions" window. You will also need to mark whether or not the user is allowed to access transactions from earlier accounting periods.
  • On the final screen you will get a chance to review the access rights you've selected.  Click "Prev" if you need to make any changes, otherwise click "Finish" to complete the new user setup.
 
 
Important Tax Deadlines

February 15 - Get new W4s for employees filing exempt status for 2005.

 

February 15 - IRS Monthly payroll tax deposits due for January

 

February 28 - 1099s to the IRS and W2s to the SSA must be postmarked by this date.

 

March 15 - S-Corp election paperwork due for those changing status

 

March 15 - Returns/Extensions due for corporate returns

 

March 15 - IRS Monthly Payroll tax deposits due for February

 

 

 

Spotlight On... Tom Beauchamp 

This month's spotlight is shining some light on the man behind the curtain, Tom Beauchamp, Virtual Marketing Advisor.

Tom joined OffAssist in December 2005 after spending three years owning and operating a computer gaming center in Austin, Texas.  He has also been writing the OffAssist “Tech Talk” column for over a year and offering computer advice and assistance to our clients since we opened.

When asked what he brings to OffAssist, Tom says, “I bring a wide range of skills developed
by working with professionals in diverse fields: construction, industrial, engineering, executive and others.  I've also taken several product lines from the early concept stage through prototype and on to multi-million dollar product line.”

“I can assist our customers with market research, man-hour management, marketing, and targeted advertising. I bring years of experience and extreme attention to detail to each and every project for our clients.”

If you want to find out more about the extended services Tom and OffAssist now offer, you can email him at Tom@offassist.com.  

Keep an eye on our website, too–OffAssist is growing and changing so that we are truly able to handle all of your business needs and be your one, easy solution.

 

 

A patient was at her doctor's office after undergoing a complete physical exam. 

The doctor said, "I have some very grave news for you. You only have six months to live."

The patient asked, "Oh doctor, what should I do?"

The doctor replied, "Marry an accountant."

"Will that make me live longer?" asked the patient.

"No," said the doctor, "but it will SEEM longer."

 

Tech Talk with Tom...
 Windows XP Service Pack 2:
 What is it and how do I install it? 


SP2 is no mere patch. It’s a major upgrade and installing it is not dissimilar to upgrading from say, Windows Me to Windows XP. The service pack weighs in at about 275 megabytes and you’ll need around 800M of free disk space to install it – more if you want to create an uninstall folder, which really is a must.

The installation process takes from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on the complexity of your existing installation and the state of your system. You shouldn’t have to be present for much of that time, although it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your system any time you do a major upgrade. That way if things go wrong you can pinpoint exactly where in the process the problem occurred.

After you accept the license agreement, the SP2 setup program takes a good look at your computer. It inspects your third-party drivers, performs a system inventory, checks to make sure you have enough disk space for the upgrade, and backs up the system, including the registry. It then sets a restore point so that you can use System Restore to revert to your old system if things go wrong. After all of that it installs the new files. When SP2 is fully installed you’ll be prompted to reboot your system.

The first time your system reboots you’ll be presented with a screen asking whether or not you wish to switch Automatic Updates on. If you agree, Windows will set itself to automatically download and install new Windows updates, checking for them each day.

So that's it, right? Unfortunately no.

Windows XP Service Pack 2 comes with two very nifty new services: Windows Firewall and automatic updates. Over the next two months we'll take a look at these two services and how they can make your life easier or turn it into a living hell.

Tom Beauchamp is the marketing and tech expert behind OffAssist. He can be reached at tom@offassist.com.  

A job interview is in progress and a bright,  experienced accountant is interviewing for a CFO position. 

He is being interviewed by the members of board of directors and a CEO. 

During the interview the CEO suddenly asks: "Tell me, what is seven multiplied by three?" 

The accountant thinks fast and tells "22." 

Once the interview is over the accountant goes out, takes out the calculator and finds the answer - 21, disappointed, he goes home. 

Next morning he gets a call from the CEO, "Hey, you got a job." 

The accountant is pleasantly surprised. He cannot but asks, "Thank you very much for the job but what about seven multiplied by three?" 

The CEO tells him - "of all the candidates we interviewed, you came the closest."

 

 

A special thank you to our copyeditor and all-around-language-geek, Dyanna Larson of Ink Think - visit her website for more information about her services.
 

 

Have an article you’d like to write for our monthly newsletter or want to be spotlighted? Have a QuickBooks question or something you'd like to see in the Tech Tip?
Email candy@offassist.com.

 

 
 


This newsletter is published monthly by Candy Beauchamp of OffAssist. (c) 2006
Much of the advice in this newsletter is based upon the research, professional and personal experiences of the authors. If the reader has any questions concerning any material or procedure mentioned, the publisher and authors strongly suggest seeking the advice of a qualified CPA or other professional..